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Proteins and peptides represent a new generation of therapeutic agents which appear to be more potent and specific, yet less toxic than the conventional drugs. Biotechnological companies have successfully produced large numbers of proteins and peptides, including interleukins and growth factors, that are potentially useful for the treatment of various human diseases. However, the application of these biotechnological products is, to a large extent, limited by the availability of practical routes of administration. In particular, the oral delivery of peptides and proteins, which is dubbed "the Holy Grail of drug delivery", is still considered by many pharmaceutical scientists as an impossible goal to achieve at the present time.

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